Articles Posted in Live

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Venn Crawford

It’s October, which means everything in stores is pumpkin flavored and orange. But another bounty of the season’s harvest is corn, and there’s no corn more delicious than elotes.

Elotes are grilled corn on the cob coated with a creamy, cheesy chili sauce. They’re commonly sold by street vendors in Mexico, pierced through with a skewer for easy eating.

Because the only cooking required is grilling the corn, you can easily make elotes at home. This recipe is great to make with kids, for dinner dates, or just as a snack. The sauce stores well too, so you can make it in advance for whenever you’re craving elotes. A little forewarning though – despite being easy to make, this recipe is messy to eat. Make sure you have napkins handy, as the sauce tends to get all over your cheeks. Continue reading

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Venn Crawford

Japanese Udon is a thick wheat noodle, often served in a rich broth. This recipe is perfect for date nights, as it’s light, delicious, and makes a tasty surprise for someone who’s never had it before.

Don’t be daunted by the long list of ingredients – this recipe is incredibly simple to make. Continue reading

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Venn Crawford

Tomorrow is National North Carolina Day – a day celebrating the history and growth of our home state. Of course, North Carolina Day is the perfect excuse to go on an outing with family, have a solo adventure, or plan a unique date. And with the large number of attractions in and around Greensboro, there’s no need to travel far for a bit of fun.

One of the most well-known attractions in town is the Greensboro Science Center. The center features a zoo, aquarium, the SkyWild (an aerial rope course), and museum exhibits on the human body and weather. A personal favorite exhibit of mine is the gibbon exhibit – this family of monkeys has a wild, mischievous baby gibbon that swings around the exhibit, teasing the older monkeys and causing about as much trouble as the toddlers on the other side of the glass. Continue reading

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Carolyn Woodruff

Caviar has never been on my list of loves before now. But, I will still be skeptical of caviar that is not fresh and more than a day old. Choice fresh Russian caviar is beluga sturgeon from Volgograd on the Caspian Sea. Taliat Tarsinov grew up there, and he is quite the expert in caviar.

At the Beluga Restaurant in Moscow with an awesome view of Red Square, caviar is expected and lavishly served. Our table of five ordered two bowls of caviar: one beluga and one a more salted sturgeon. We ate the caviar on toast points with butter and on crepes. Of course, we used the tiny individual spoons for dipping the caviar and spreading it on the toast points or crepes. I don’t have a set of these tiny spoons in my kitchen, by the way.

We had a flight of vodka shots: Putkinya, lemon, courrant, cranberry, and one more like a whiskey. Vodka is great with the caviar, but bear meat jerky also accompanied the vodka shots. Bear meat jerky tastes a lot like deer jerky and is a great compliment to vodka. Of course, we had lots of pickles also. I think the vodka is wheat based, and the Beluga Restaurant has their own brand of vodka. The Putkinya vodka was in honor of President Putin.

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Carolyn Woodruff

Dwight and I have never been known for packing light. We just finished packing and we together are just under the allotted 200 pounds of checked luggage. So what weather did we pack for:

St. Petersburg, Russia 60 degrees F in June, with nights at 52 Degrees and days at 68 degrees. It also rains 16 out of 30 days.

Moscow is slightly warmer and averages 64 degrees F in June, 72 high of the day, and nights at 55 degrees. It rains 12 days out of 30.

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Carolyn Woodruff

Muscovites in their forties are polished European dressers, and most dress codes at nice restaurants and clubs require upscale dressing and “no sports shoes.” There is quite a snobbery of sorts concerning sports shoes, and frequently you will see “no sports shoes” allowed.  This directive seems almost directed at the tendency of American travelers to wear tennis shoes at every available opportunity.  I saw no Russian in sport’s shoes or tennis shoes, but I would assume the Muscovite would wear sports shoes in the gym, although I did not actually visit a gym and I never saw one in our upscale hotel.  I, however, didn’t search for the gym because every day was quite athletic without the gym—walking, dancing….

Polished Muscovites are into name branded shoes and purses.  At the Bolshoi, I noted the lady sitting next to me carried a Channel Bag and wore the traditional Channel flat shoe, the one with the cap toe.  I noticed all around me Valentino and Dior.  It is easy to spot Valentino because of the studded detail and Dior because of the D.  I believed they were authentically dressed, and these did not appear to be “knockoffs.”  I also saw no stores or street vendors selling knock-offs.   I don’t recall seeing Tory Burch or Kors in these groups, but Kors signs were everywhere.

Let’s face it; dressing in name brands is extremely expensive, so I feel these Muscovites were sending the message that they have arrived and are successful financially.  Let’s turn a bit to the fashion of those not so middle aged and not yet established.

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Carolyn Woodruff

Our beloved choreographer, Taliat Tarsinov, who is sought after worldwide, is Stellar Duo’s artistic director. His career in dance in 1974, turned professional in ’88, and began choreographing after his retirement in ‘95. Tarsinov has chosen Mystery of Masquerade as our theme.

This theme has quite the history lesson. It dates back to the Roman Catholic’s Pre-Lent Festival, known as Mardi Gras. For the 1700 and 1800’s the only people in attendance to these festivals and galas were the rich social elites. Although, in the 21st century all are welcome to these gatherings, the secrecy of who lies under the mask is still part of the excitement. The mask’s origin is however, the premise of being unknown, being equal, dancing and living without judgement. The masks’ will set you free and let you create your own identity; let you reestablish yourself. It allows you to let go, become unified, and live without fear- or judgement.

THIS DANCE IS GOING TO BE VERY POWERFUL. IT TELLS A STORY OF A BEAUTIFUL WOMEN WHO HAS A CHANCE MEETING WITH A RUSSIAN OFFICER. WHEN IT STARTS,  I AM VERY TIMID AND DON’T REALLY WANT TO GET TO KNOW THE OFFICER, BECAUSE I AM ALREADY IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE.BY THE END I RUN AWAY BECAUSE THE OFFICER TOOK OFF MY MASK AND EXPOSED ME TO THE WORLD.